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20 die as bus falls into canal near Kolkata

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Rescue effort: Civic employees pulling out the private bus, which fell into the Keshtopur canal on Friday.
Rescue effort: Civic employees pulling out the private bus, which fell into the Keshtopur canal on Friday.

Marcus Dam

Locals rushed to the spot and removed trapped bodies

KOLKATA: Twenty persons including women and children were killed when a private bus fell into a canal in the Rajarhat area on the northeastern fringes of the city on Friday afternoon. About 30 persons were injured and the condition of some is stated to be critical.

The bus veered into the Keshtopur canal at 2.20 p.m. Locals rushed to the spot and removed the bodies trapped in the bus after prising the flanks open and bending window rods. The bus was retrieved from the muddy waters with a crane at 4 p.m.

Divers of the Border Security Force brought out a few more bodies, a senior district official said. The canal gate was closed to prevent any person drifting in the waters.

Rescue work continued under spotlights late into the evening.

Eyewitness said the bus skidded into the canal while trying to overtake another vehicle on VIP Road. They alleged that civic authorities were late in starting rescue operations.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who visited the area, said the State administration’s inability to tackle such emergency situations was in evidence once more. She demanded that compensation be paid to the bereaved families and to the injured.

Left Front Committee chairman Biman Bose said the Transport Department would do whatever was required of it.

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